Instagram is exploding in its popularity as a platform. Not just for users but for businesses and brands as well, the visual-based social media platform has become a “major player” since being founded in October 2010. After being acquired by Facebook in 2012, the app has been gradually expanding both its user base and ad platform. In essentially 10 years, Instagram now boasts accounts from Christian Renaldo (with over 220m followers) to The Royal Family (8m followers).
User-popularity aside, Instagram has a very effective advertising platform for brands as well. In fact, Instagram themselves even claim that over 200m users visit a business profile once a day.
But what exactly makes Instagram so effective as an advertising tool for brands? I asked our Digital Marketing Director, Teylor Schiefelbein, for her thoughts:
Aubrey: So Teylor, one of the claims that Instagram makes in regards to the platform is the elaborate capability in regards to building targeted audiences. What does that even mean?
Teylor: Each time you follow an account, save a post or double-tap a photo, you are telling Instagram what kind of content you personally find engaging. As a user, if you tap over to the “Explore” page — it’s essentially meant to be a curation of what you’re interested in right now based on your activity on the app. All of this user-data is factored in when an advertiser builds an audience based on an individual’s interests and demographics.
Aubrey: How does the focus of the platform change the way you market a product or service for a client? Do you change your strategy due to the fact that Instagram is primarily visual?
Teylor: Absolutely. I consider Facebook to be the better platform to push articles or blog posts because it allows for a clear headline and users are more willing to be sent off the platform, whereas Instagram is a great platform for a product-based brand. That being said, having high-quality product photography is essential to see a healthy return on your advertising.
Aubrey: What types of brands or products do you think have more success on Instagram than Facebook or Twitter?
Teylor: Definitely B2C brands with a strong e-commerce website. Importing your product catalog can make shopping incredibly easy on Instagram. With one tap, the user knows the price of the product. With two taps, they can be on your website, starting the checkout process. Or, with Instagram’s new update — you can build your “digital storefront” right in the app.
Aubrey: What are some “red flags” or misleading statistics to consider when advertising on Instagram? Are there any strategies that were once “in vogue” or popular that brands should now avoid?
Teylor: If you have a Business Instagram account, you technically could run an ad in about 5 minutes through the platform. However, I would highly recommend going through the Ads Manager platform in order to have complete access to campaign objective and complete targeting options — including users who have visited your website in the past or engage with a competitor, for example. While this route is more time-intensive, it allows you to get specific with your targeting.
Aubrey: What’s the most ridiculous product you’ve purchased on Instagram after seeing an Ad for that product? Mine is 100% an Andy Warhol style painting of my dog.
Teylor: I actually know exactly what brand you’re talking about! I wouldn’t say it’s ridiculous but I’m a sucker for Korean skincare brands on Instagram. Good branding + quality ingredients? Take my money! And as a marketer, I know that once I engage with this sort of ad, I’m bound to see more of them!
If you’re curious as to whether your small to medium-sized business could find success on this social media platform through targeted Instagram ads, let’s start a conversation! We are happy to discuss your goals and devise a custom strategy for your brand.